The Rock N Roll Autograph Show
September 13 - 15, 2013
The Westin LAX
Los Angeles, CA
by Christopher Lee
photos by: Christopher Lee
The Rock N' Roll Autograph show, the first of it's kind convention dedicated to rock n' roll, where attendees were given a rare opportunity to meet and converse with some of their favorite rock n' roll artists past and present! Literally, a who's who of everybody from the guys who made some of your favorite records to the guys who produced them! Sure there are conventions for everything from horror films to marijuana these days, but I am willing to bet my life NO ONE has had the balls before this to put their money where there mouth is, putting on a show of this caliber like Corky Byer has!
From the minute I got word of the show back in August and I saw the list of guests, attending was a "no brainer" considering all the talent that would be under one roof, here is just a few of the names, from rock legends like Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night), Carmine Appice, Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), to Elliot Eastone (The Cars), Tommy Tutone, Richie Ramone, and Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.) to everyone in between! Too many names to mention in one breath! *Be sure to visit their website for the complete lists of guests you missed out on! Anyway, I for one was excited knowing that I would be able to meet some of these guys as most of them have left an indelible mark on my rock n' roll life as I am the consummate fan, whether their contribution was one song in the case of Tommy Tutone, or classic albums that made me the rock monster I am today in regards to the previously mentioned guests like Elliot Easton, Richie Ramone, and Chris Holmes to name a few!
From the moment I entered the Weston LAX to get my credentials I was impressed by how professional everything was right down to the press room where interviews could be held with any of scheduled artists. Before could I finally make my way to the convention room, Tommy Tutone appeared out of nowhere to take some photos, and I waited for a chance to talk to him and tell him my personal story about his classic "867-5309", which I still own the 45 for that my sainted mother bought me as a kid! He was very friendly and when I asked to take a picture of HIM for my article, he opted to take one of me and him, letting me pose with the stratocaster "Jenny" from the music video! Totally surreal, yet it set a great tone for the rest of the afternoon!
When I finally entered the convention room, I walked past legendary guitar player and grammy nominee Jon Butcher Axis, who I recognized immediately, he was very friendly, I asked to take a picture of him solely for my article yet he insisted on the two of us taking a pic which was cool! John is still out there playing and touring and has written music for countless popular TV shows like Shameless, My Name Is Earl, The Simpsons and my favorite Six Feet Under! I also got to speak with guitarist Bob Kulick, you may know his brother Bruce as guitarist of KISS, but long before Bruce, Bob laid some solos on some classic KISS records as well as record by Meatloaf, etc, I met him at Gene Simmons Rocktoberfest last year and he was more than willing to talk and take a picture with me even though I made it clear he didn't have to, since I was there to cover the event and he was there to make money! Just goes to show as a wiseman once said "musicians are the worst business men", lol, because these guys were all more than willing to take a pic for free! HA HA! Bob was sandwiched to his left by some former Playboy Playmates including Ava Fabian (she is the one strutting down the street at the end of the RATT "Way Cool Junior" video) and to his right by Sharise Rudell, one of the stars of Ex Wives Of Rock, I don't need to mention who her ex-husband is if you watch the show! Sharise has a great personality and is very friendly, besides being a babe! I had her laughing the whole time, and I learned she is a fellow Scorpio! WE RULE! The rest of the cast of the show where nowhere to be found on Saturday, although they were there Friday I was told by Sharise! Be sure to tune into the show Fuse TV, it's the only reality show worth watching! And if you know me, you know, CHRIS LEE DON'T DO TV! Unless I am on it!
Time was running out as I wandered over to Chris Holmes table where he was being interviewed, I waited for him to get done and introduced myself and he remembered me from the conversation I had when I met him for the first time back in March! Chris is beyond friendly and down to earth, he invited me outside to go smoke and I talked to him and his very sweet wife Sarah for a good half an hour, the "mean man" will give you all the time in the world! He LOVES to talk! Chris just released his debut solo CD "Nothing To Lose" and the video for "Way To Be", check them out! It's great to see one of my childhood heroes in love, happy, and sober!
With the convention portion of the show over at 5:00 pm, there was not enough time to converse with all of the people I wanted to talk to, like legendary Plasmatics guitarist, solo artist and RAMONES producer Jean Beauvoir and a few others...
I was waiting for the nights festivities to begin at 7:00 PM in the hotel bar which turned into one big party with various guests from the show hanging out and talking to fans while waiting to perform later that night! I found myself in the midst of a conversation with guitar shredders Michael Angelo Batio of Nitro fame and Dave Shankel formerly of Manowar and currently his own band DSG! They were beyond entertaining and accommodating with Dave Shankel buying me a few drinks, which were not cheap! Thanks Dave! I owe you one!
The all star VIP party (for those who purchased the VIP package) kicked off with a live performance by the local Los Angeles band Still Standing, followed by legendary Lynrd Skynrd drummer Artimus Pyle's band "Skynrd Reloaded" who performed an abbreviated set of Skynrd classics, which was cool to see! Those who know their rock n' roll know Skynrd were an outlaw rock band, the Southern answer to Britain's punks, which is why the Sex Pistols loved them as have I grown to over the years! Along with performances by the newly reformed London, sets by Jon Butcher, Jim Dandy (the guy David Lee Roth owes a check to!) and Black Oak Arkansas, along with an All Star Jam Session featuring everyone from Carmine Appice, to Tommy Tutone to Jean Beauvoir! It was one big party and it was done with style, hell they even had servers giving out complimentary hor'd ourves, the organizers really went all out to make this a one of a kind experience and I am glad I was there to experience it! It was a great time!
In addition, All the guest artists involved also dedicated their time and energy to record a song titled “If I Had the Time (I Could Change the World)" written by legendary songwriter/guitarist Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, and countless others) recorded to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a cause very close to Corky's heart who in his own words believes in "paying it forward"! So look for that in the future!
If you missed this, you have lost all rock n' roll credibility, turn in your credentials at once, there is no excuse for missing this, it was VERY well promoted! Should there be another convention in the future, DO NOT repeat the same mistake twice! If you live for rock n' roll, you will have a great time! Thanks to Corky and the wonderful staff who always had a smile on their face and put up with me all day, which always sets a mood for these kind of events and it was a great time!
Learn more and get ready for #2!
© 2013 Crypt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.